What you need to know as a beginner at OTH
You’ve decided to race at OTH. That’s awesome! Welcome to the best bike community in OC with the most amazing people who get together every week to celebrate fun on two wheels.
Here is what you need to know as a new racer.
Any bike, from dusty old clunker, to ridged hardtail, to full suspension bike, and everything in-between will do for your first race. You will want to ride the contraption before you come out on race day, just to make sure everything is in good working order. If you find any issues, head on down to any of our local shops and they will be happy to fix it for you. You can find a list at the bottom of our homepage.
Make sure to pump up your tires to 30-40 PSI, check that the breaks are working, and you should be good to go.
You must wear lycra and shave your legs… just kidding. Anything that is comfortable will work. You will see plenty of racers in cotton t-shirts and baggy shorts. If you want to step up your game, invest in a cycling jersey and a chamois (padded underwear to keep from getting saddle sore). You may also want to pick up a set of MTB gloves, as it makes racing less hard on your grip.
Any bike helmet will do. You want to make sure it doesn’t have any cracks or major dents. Safety first.
Flat pedals and any flat shoe will be fine for your first OTH race. If you are riding with clipless pedals and shoes, make sure to have them set loose so you can get out in a hurry if you need to.
What if you get a flat? You’re going to want to carry an extra tube and either a mini pump or a CO2 based bike pump. Again, stop by a local shop and they’ll hook you up. You can always carry a chain tool and tyre levers, but keep in mind that more gear equals more weight. You will probably want to include water in your gear list. Most riders use a bottle.
At OTH you should be ok without much in the way of food during a race. If you want, you can always carry a small bar just in case. Make sure to eat a meal a few hours before the race and stay well hydrated on race day.
Before your race starts
Get to the course early. You can pre-ride the day’s course starting at 4:30 pm. This will allow you to see the course and get an idea of where you can push the pace and where you need to just keep moving. This may sound like a no brainer but, make sure to use the bathroom 30 minutes before the race starts. You don’t want to be mid race when nature calls.
Once the actions starts, you will want to pace yourself. You don’t want to go out at max effort and not make it to the finish line or bonk out and barely finish. Remember, OTH is all about fun. The most critical moments of the race will be near the end. Try to pick a pace that you can maintain for the entire race. Remember, the more you race, the better you will get at pacing. If you are worried that you will be slow, start near the back of the pack for your heat.
Remember that you will be sharing the course with other racers, and a ton of the beginners are racing for the first time just like you. The goal is to have fun.
OTH is all about fun, playing in the dirt on two wheels with awesome people. Just get out there, turn the pedals, and have the time of your life!
See you there.